Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 27 April 2005
It's a shame that this will only be heard by existing fans. People who, as the Amazon review correctly identified, played the previous two albums to death. However, fans will find wrong within this, especially on the first listen. Tracks such as "Gods and Monsters" and "An Ordinary Girl" just do not sound like the Kloot we know and love. They tend to grate. The fact that they appear so early on in the album heightens the damage. One can't help but feel that they have lost their way.
However, the first half of the album is very much a dark cloud with silver linings aplenty. The opener "No Direction Home" is suitably moody and atmospheric, bringing to mind Radiohead's seminal "There There". It acted as the opener on their recent tour, and works well in this context. Also, the single, "Over My Shoulder" is classic Kloot (Given that it appeared as a very early b-side) which never fails to bring a smile to the face, even if it is about bitter relationships. "Stars Look Familiar" is pure joy from start to finish.
Then there's the second half, which is where the fans will really recognise the band they know and love. "Hong Kong Lullaby" is a peaceful instrumental, like "loch" from Natural History, only not laced with menace. "Sand and Glue" is an epic in the vain of "From Your Favourite Sky", "Dead Men's Cigarettes" sounds very much like "Sunlight Hits The Snow", which really is not a bad thing.
They clearly saved the best 'til last though. "I Believe" features the wistful vocals, poetic lyrics, optimistic guitaring and drum and bass rhythm that have become their trademark, and acts as a perfect end to the album. All previous fears of "the bad album" very much ameliorated.
So yes, more of the same really. But given that the tracks that try things differently tend to let the album down, is this really a bad thing? One for the fans. Not that anyone else will hear it anyway. They really are criminally ignored.